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View Poll Results: Where Does True Stopping Power Come From?
Shot Placement 54 94.74%
Shot Size 3 5.26%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 3, 2009, 12:59 PM   #1
scgunrunner
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Where Does True Stopping Power Come From?

How many people believe that where they shoot a target matters more than the size of the round they’re using?
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Old January 3, 2009, 01:16 PM   #2
Keltyke
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A .32 to the chest will stop quicker than a .45 to the arm, IMO.
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Old January 3, 2009, 01:28 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Stopping power comes, oddly, from power. Shot placement is more and more important as power goes lower and lower.

Which handguns essentially do not have in abundance. I've seen data suggesting that what we think of as "stopping power" requires a minimum of 2000fps.
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Old January 3, 2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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shot placement always trumps "stopping power".
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Old January 3, 2009, 02:12 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
shot placement always trumps "stopping power".
Since this is the handgun forum, I'd agree. There does come a power level that trumps placement, like the .50BMG, but that's another world.
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Old January 3, 2009, 06:09 PM   #6
Rifleman 173
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Stopping power is a combination of:

bullet size
shot placement
force behind the bullet or power/force
weight of the bullet

All of these factors are what make any bullet effective.
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Old January 3, 2009, 09:13 PM   #7
Detachment Charlie
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True stopping power comes from a U.S. Navy 16" Naval Rifle.
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Old January 3, 2009, 09:46 PM   #8
Tucker 1371
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I went with the majority and voted shot placement but I have to agree with peetzakilla. If you shoot someone with a .50 BMG in the arm or the leg the poor SOB is proably going to bleed out very quickly or be otherwise incapacitated. On that note, does anyone know about the terminal ballistics of the .500 SW? I believe that is a very relavant piece of info regarding this question.
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Old January 3, 2009, 09:53 PM   #9
KUHIO
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Stopping Power is actually derrived from the Latin term 'Stoppus Powum' meaning "shoot center mass"
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Old January 4, 2009, 12:22 AM   #10
noyes
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Quote:
Where Does True Stopping Power Come From?
foot pounds of energy

so what are we shooting at ? some animals have pretty thick skin & large bone structure .So a well placed shot may not have enough foot pounds of energy to make it to the vital organ.
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Old January 4, 2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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Actually I thing stopping power comes from gunwriters who invented a subject suitable for endless debate. In the real world we encounter states of being such as 1.Unhurt 2. Wounded 3. Incapacitated 4. Dead. The faster someone transitions from the first state to the third or fourth the more apparent "stopping power" seems to be but there is no formula which relaibly predicts the speed of transition with any given weapon or even wound location. Some people are incapacitated by a word. Others endure multiple grievious wounds for a considerable time without being incapacitated or dying.
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Old January 4, 2009, 02:40 PM   #12
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Not many people would go hunting elephant with a .22


This delivers foot pounds of energy at both ends.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4juEIK_zRM

.577 T-Rex
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Old January 4, 2009, 02:50 PM   #13
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I didnt vote as I see it as a combination of both shot placement and power/energy transfer.
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Old January 4, 2009, 02:57 PM   #14
Hawaiian Eye
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The Powers That Be

Before I continue, here's my disclaimer - I'm not an expert and claim no absolute definition.

From this and other threads discussing this topic, I've come to the following conclusions. First, the term "Stopping Power" seems to allude to the ability to apply effective ballistic energy to an appropriate area on a target with the end result of immediate termination of aggressive activity.

Second, there are different types of power. Here are a few examples of the differing powers extrapolated from this and other threads.

A .50 BMG round impacting an arm or other appendage may not incapacitate an adversary sufficiently to immediately stop additional aggressive activity. Although, traumatic tissue damage may eventually cause the aggressor to cease all activities. A clear example of "Pausing Power".

A .22 Rimfire impacting COM on a heavily clothed aggressor may have only sufficient ballistic energy to cause a nasty bruise. Such insufficient tissue damage could result in the opposite of the desired result and get the target even more ticked off with the belief that, "Your gun can't hurt me!" An example of "Aggravating Power" My kids can sometimes employ this power without the use of a firearm.

A .38 Special (or any other caliber for that matter) fired into a couch (a miss NOT a warning shot) that causes the aggressor to lose control of their bodily functions and/or to immediately quit the field post haste achieves a similar result to stopping power - the cessation of aggressive behavior. This also has the benefit of no human casualties (although you will have to repair or replace the couch and possibly clean the carpet. This is "Scaring Power".

Often, as evidenced from posts on different threads, "Stopping Power" and "Scaring Power" can occur in conjunction with each other.

Just my humble, if flawed, conclusions from my fallible observations, presented for your entertainment if not worthy of you consideration.
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Old January 4, 2009, 03:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifleman 173
Stopping power is a combination of:

bullet size
shot placement
force behind the bullet or power/force
weight of the bullet

All of these factors are what make any bullet effective.
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Old January 4, 2009, 03:45 PM   #16
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A hit with 22LR is better then a miss with 500SW.....Some of you guys and gals will never ever grasp that shootings are dynamic situations. You can not control the chemical enhancements of the person being shot? or body armor? or even heavy winter clothing....you can debate this till the cows come home....SIMPLY PUT YOU SHOOT TO TERMINATE THE AGGRESSION! Nothing more nothing less.....anyone that debates that is foolish and or just has NO clue.

I have seen more then a few people shot in my career as a paramedic and RN in ED. So, I can heartily state that yeah shot placement matters more then anything.... I have seen people take multple hits from 9mm at PB with heavy leather coat and suffered nothing more then welts.....or a guy show at near PD with birdshot wearing a Carhartt work coat, or the guy that took one 45ACP HS to the heart and was DRT! Or the gal that was shot multiple times with a 40 and some buck shot and was still very much alive.

There are TOO MANY VARIABLES to say anything more...then shoot till you terminate the aggression!

People die of one thing anoxia! If the body can not transport oxygen well.....let me think now....what carries oxygen....oh yeah hemoglobin. That is in the blood. So, you have to either cut the motor....destroy the CNS or you bleed them out or destroy the pump.....
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Old January 4, 2009, 04:40 PM   #17
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Need I remind you what happens when you even come close with a .45 ACP?
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Old January 4, 2009, 04:47 PM   #18
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A human being is controlled by an organic computer, connected to the organism by a centralized network of connections. Scramble the CPU or seriously disrupt that centralized network and it grinds to a halt.

Quote:
...shootings are dynamic situations. You can not control the chemical enhancements of the person being shot? or body armor? or even heavy winter clothing....you can debate this till the cows come home...
One of the least talked about things in shootings is the dynamics of shooting moving targets. One can take a perfect COM aim, fire and even hit the target in the 10-ring all for naught. Why? Because (a)the angle is wrong or (b)the subject turns just as you fire and changes the body's angle.

Picture the impact at precisely the X-ring. If you are facing your opponent at a 90° angle then chances of a heart/spine hit are high. But at about 25° angle, the bullet will be headed towards the farside scapula (shoulder blade) instead of the heart.

"Stopping Power" is merely the ability of any bullet to penetrate reliably enough to reach the CNS with enough force to disrupt the signals to the rest of the body. Even without a CNS hit, a bullet that goes deep enough to do either will work fine.
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Old January 4, 2009, 05:04 PM   #19
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Placement
.22 to the head kill faster than any other bullet to a limb
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Old January 4, 2009, 05:14 PM   #20
noyes
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Maybe if shot in the ear or eye ,but.

ft. lbs. energy .I love Ballistics Chart. No wonder there are so many different types of ammo. Big game to birds.


There are a bunch of news story's like this :

GIRL, 19, SHOT FOR A MOBILE; She lives as bullet bounces off skull.(News)
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Old January 4, 2009, 05:29 PM   #21
vox rationis
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Stopping power is anything that stops the aggressor, and that can range from directly disrupting the CNS (brain or spinal cord) like Bill said, to disrupting the cardiovascular system to the point of causing decreased cerebral blood flow and therefore brain ischemia with a resultant collapse and loss of consciousness (this is again disrupting the CNS), or by causing "psychogenic collapse" if you will, where the aggressor, for one reason or another, stops after being molested by force. On the last point, aggressors have been known to stop even when hit by a non life threatening wound, like in the pinkie for example.

I forgot to add that a bigger and faster projectile that gives adequate penetration, all else being equal, is generally thought to achieve the above ends more quickly and efficiently, with psychogenic factors being a wild card obviously.

Last edited by vox rationis; January 4, 2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old January 4, 2009, 05:58 PM   #22
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there are also a lot of .22 shots that penetrate the skull and kill.

Last edited by quinn2187; January 4, 2009 at 06:01 PM. Reason: make a better point
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Old January 4, 2009, 06:40 PM   #23
scgunrunner
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The main reason for excluding a "combination" option was to make people pick the one they felt was most important. I understand completely that a .50 cal will ruin your day if it hits your arm, foot, or chest and I also understand a .44 mag or S&W500 to a non-vital area will still probably do the same... but this question was for the regular guy packing the typical carry calibers .38/.357, 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, and so forth.
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Old January 4, 2009, 06:44 PM   #24
Deaf Smith
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Shot placement maximizes the useful power of the weapon. If it does not have enough power to penitrate to the vitals nor the destructiveness to damage the organs where the shot was placed, then placement is moot.

You need a combnation of good shot placment and adaquate power. Just what that combination is is what's up for debate.
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